As for age trajectory, I first began returning to centering in Ni in my very early 30s (though didn't call it that then and it's only an approximation), and it was during the rest of my 30s that I began to consciously pinpoint what I later came to call "Fe" as harmful to me. Now heading into my mid-40s.
It's very similar for me.What I believe you do not know about INFJs is that I as INFJ have already been wired ... to take too much of any judgment in and it takes a very long time to process/accept/reject it when that happens...it consumes too much energy and is debilitating...not practical for everyday life…
I found something @March wrote on this point to be really really vividly useful as description and it's been sitting in the back of my internal field since I read it:
I've semi-recently used the metaphor of "root virus" for how Fe-aux works in me and affects me. I'm not an expert in how root viruses work, but basically the metaphor is one way for me to get at this dynamic:
Fe-aux assigns high legitimacy to external value material into me so that it is allowed into the deepest rececess of my perception as legitimate. From this perspective, Fe-aux itself is some sort of meta-virus that I welcomed into myself when I first developed it. This Fe virus allows in a constant stream of smaller viruses.
The good news from my perspective is that once my immune system (Ti plays a big role) deconstructs that stuff, I can develop antibodies along the way for specific infections. I have also learned a lot, in a pretty deep intensely participatory kind of way, about the cultural illness in this system and some about how it shows up in individuals as damage etc. But the process of taking this into myself, not having my immune system recognize it for what it is to begin with, living through the infections and the phase of neutralizing them, over and over ... this is freaking exhausting. At this stage of my life, it's feeling more and more like deep survival for me to re-center in Ni-Se and take down this Fe meta-virus in myself rather then continuing to go after the stream of infections it allows in over and over and over.
Quick note: If by him/his/he you mean me, I'm a woman (as is my partner). If it's not a reference to me, sorry!@PeaceBaby: Your wording here sounds as if you are looking down on him…? As if it is his fault that he couldn't understand you?
Kind of but not exactly (though it may just be word usage)@Werebudgie : my understanding is that you are saying that you are using Ni-Se instantaneous "gut/visceral feeling" to decide beforehand whether the incoming information/judgment/perspective is flawed/off/biased somehow and by doing that you do not allow in inappropriate judgment in the firstplace for a thorough analysis…
I'm trying more and more to rely on that gut/visceral Ni-Se sense as a guide to action and movement. My struggle - and it is still very much a struggle- is to trust the gut/visceral sense. I still second-guess it way too much. I haven't yet managed to take down that Fe root virus in myself, though am working on it.
But yes, one of the many outcomes of centering in and trusting Ni-Se perception is that inappropriate material does not enter me and need analytical immune system analysis as it so often has.
For me, what kicks in is more Ti than Fe. Ti is really good with categories and analysis and putting words to things. That's probably why I respond with things like "the problem I have is your lack of accuracy" and a focus on lack of understanding. That's largely Ti judgement in me. And having categories of trust (related to people and the information they put forward) to begin with is, for me, more Ti-sourced than Fe-sourced. In this, I'm always looking for data, tracking multiple streams of data, checking out new data, sorting data, tinkering with categories and relationships between etc etc. It's a lot like inductive qualitative research and analysis (which I have done professionally as well).In such a case Fe may kick in (like a doorslam?) to pass extraverted judgment if the other side pushes to impose his/her perspective further?
I mean, for example, one thing that's been coming up for me in my personal life and inner reflections has to do with boundaries, trying to analytically categorize and map where are my actual boundaries in relation to what is okay or not from other people. And the process is pretty Ti-heavy - it's not about assigning values to anything, it's about observing myself and my experiences and reactions and other people's interactions with me and trying to Ti-analyze categories related to "where are the different lines here that might make up different boundaries?" and what does that mean for people and interactions?"
I don't know yet how this in me is or might be related to the doorslam option.
1. Me second guessing Ni-Se info and perception, plus Fe-aux internalizing and legitimizing of the external materials to start with,
2. The interaction and and well internalized material starts viscerally feeling off at that gut/Ni-Se level in a way I can't ignore
3. And so Ti comes in and starts the process of figuring out the specifics and comes to a conclusion opposite to the initial Fe internalization and acceptance (which nearly 100% of the time is what the Ni-Se information was trying to say in the first place).
Seems to me that what it's like on the outside is "wait, you seemed to agree with me before and take in what I was saying, but now you've done a 180!" as if that initial deep taking-in could not have happened. But it does and 180 is actually because it was taken in so deeply.
For me, the best way to avoid that process is for me to continue getting centered in Ni-Se and keep learning to trust that initial gut-level information in the first place. More and more, I realize that at this stage of my life, I want my deepest personal relationships to be with people who can actually support me in in a practice getting and staying centered in Ni-Se perception - people who recognize, respond positively to, and truly desire the deep wellness in me that comes with such centered-ness.
And one thing I keep forgetting to mention in all of this is: For me, one crucial thing about Ni-Se information is that it is pre-conscious. To truly make use of the Ni-Se info as a resource for real, I usually will need to act on that info before I know the details and know why at a conscious level. Action before conscious meaning and analysis. I need to learn to flow inside that Ni-Se language itself rather than waiting for a translation to my conscious mind, trusting that even though I may not know why I have a visceral gut feeling to turn this way or that, to respond to a person in one way or another, the information is real and solid and valuable. When I've done this, I've had some amazingly great - stunningly great in fact - results. But it is a huge leap of trust in my own perception. All too often, I fall back into the rut of that second-guessing of my own perception plus, Fe influx, followed by Ti correction leading eventually to recentering in Ni organic landscape.
And as I write, I wonder if in doing that over and over, I've conditioned myself even further into distrust of my own perception, because I rely so heavily on that extremely rigorous data-grounded, detailed Ti analysis before I feel really okay in acting based on Ni or Ni-Se perception. It's like another layer of assimilation - I don't trust myself enough to act in the actual information because this process in me says information isn't solid until I can grasp it in this rigorous conscious way. And this keeps happening no matter how much data I have that emerges later showing that the initial Ni or Ni-Se perception was really into something real and crucial to begin with.
But again, when I have been able to relax and trust Ni-Se perception, I realize that my organic mode is a deep willingness to act from the space underneath consciousness. I have seen that when I am truly well and centered, I'm completely comfortable with perception, followed by movement (based on Ni-Se data), with conscious/analytical understanding later. I'm actually almost always joyfully blown away by the deep wisdom of the information that comes through Ni-Se when I take it for what it is and let conscious/analytical understanding come later. And I have seen how me trying to understand it analytically and/or reach some shared understanding with others pretty much always skews the information and makes movement that's truly well for me so much more difficult than it ever needs to be.
And, a cryptic comment on this point: The difference between feeling (gut or body based perception) and emotion (an internal narrative about the meaning of those sensations) is part of it, IMO. Talk about a potentially huge topic...